How to Throw a Button Party!

comments (4) August 9th, 2013     

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susanstars Susan Beal, contributor
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These button cupcake toppers and shortbread cookies are so colorful and fun together!
Making the button cupcake toppers is easy once you choose colors you like together.
The button cookies have contrast-color icing dots for holes.
These button cupcake toppers and shortbread cookies are so colorful and fun together!

These button cupcake toppers and shortbread cookies are so colorful and fun together!

Photo: Susan Beal
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Button It Up month has been so much fun-thanks again to Michaela and everyone at CraftStylish for all the great ideas and gorgeous projects. I thought I'd wind down my collection of button how-tos with something festive this time: making my own button-themed cookies and cupcakes for a book party at Bolt Fabric Boutique here in Portland!

I made shortbread cookies and chocolate cupcakes and had fun adding some colorful, pretty little button decorations. Here's how to make your own for your next craft night or birthday party!

Note: Of course you can use any recipes you like, but here are mine (which I love) if you are looking for a new one. I made Martha's Chocolate Cupcakes from Everyday Food with a basic cream cheese frosting, colored pink, from page 23 of Cupcakes. For the cookies, I used Martha's Icebox Shortbread Cookies recipe and added lavender (about 3 Tbsp. for a double batch), and used a fondant icing pen to make the button holes over the layer of pink sugar and multicolored sprinkles. (My glaze wasn't that stable at room temperature, so I'm not going to give a recipe for that, but you can add blue food coloring to the glaze recipe of your choice to get that pretty color!) The bonus here is that you can make all the batter and frosting ahead and store it in the refrigerator. Also, both of these bake at 350°F, so you can put everything in at once.

Button cupcake toppers:

  Cupcake toppers are fun to make in all different colors!

What you'll need:

  • Colorful buttons of your choice (sew-through recommended)
  • Felt in contrasting colors
  • Sharp scissors and pinking shears
  • Toothpicks
  • Craft glue

1. Mix your colors and choose buttons and felt combinations you like. Cut out circles of felt larger than your buttons, using either scissors or pinking shears, and match each one to a button.

  I chose bright colors for my toppers.

2. Glue the buttons down with craft glue and let them set for about half an hour.

  Let the glue dry completely before using your toppers.

3. Now flip them over and glue toothpicks to the backs with a generous dab of craft glue. Let them dry completely before adorning your cupcakes!

  The finished toppers are ready to go!


Button cookies:

While the glue on the cupcake toppers is drying, you can mix up your cookie and cupcake batter and put the first batches in the oven if you like. Here is one pan of mini-cupcakes and one small batch of shortbread cookies (the ones I glazed, this was my first round). I filled my cupcake liners 2/3 full and sliced cookies right off the log of shortbread dough for a simple round shape.

  My first batch is right out of the oven.

Glazed button cookies:

If you are having your party at home and don't need to pack up the cookies, I think glaze can be lovely. I needed to bring mine across town, though, so I ended up not using the glaze for mine. Here's my general how-to for this method:

1. Mix up a basic glaze and add color of your choice if you like. Let your cookies cool completely, then add a smooth coat of glaze to the top of each (I used a spoon to apply mine), wiping away any excess from the sides if it spills over. Let it cool and harden completely (a few minutes in the refrigerator will help with this step).

2. Use a fondant icing pen to add four dots of icing to the surface. If the glazed cookie is still warm, the dots will melt right into the glaze, but if it's cooled, they'll stay nicely defined.

  I loved this blue color, but the glaze was a bit delicate at room temperature.

3. Try to avoid stacking them or marring the surfaces before you serve them!

Sprinkles button cookies:

I had much better luck coating my cookies with a durable and pretty layer of sprinkles, so here's how to do this version if you like:

1. Pour the sprinkles of your choice into shallow saucers (I used pink sugar and multicolored sprinkles), and slice off the cookies from the shortbread cylinder so that they're ready to bake.

  Pour sprinkles into shallow saucers.

2. Before baking them, press each cookie right into the sprinkles so that the tops get an even coating of sprinkles. Put them on the cookie sheet plain side down and bake as usual.

  Sprinkled cookies are ready to go in the oven for baking.

3. Let them cool completely, and use a fondant pen to add four dots of icing for button holes on the decorated surface.

  This wasn't the glossy, shiny glaze of my original button cookie dreams, but I think it's pretty!

Right before the party:

  The plates of button cookies and cupcakes are so cheerful and happy!

Frost your cupcakes (I used a pastry bag with a large icing tip and did a single puff of pink icing on each mini), and add a topper to each one.

Put your cookies and cupcakes on plates, mixing the colors or arranging them in pretty patterns (they can look especially cute with real buttons scattered around and in between, too).

Make sure any children at your party know that the toppers and any other real button decorations are not toys to play with or put in their mouths!

Have fun, and take plenty of photos!

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posted in: how-to, buttons, felt, flower, embellishment, easy, party, button, crafty, button it up, cupcakes, cookies, treats, cupcake toppers

Comments (4)

Criativa writes: it is so very good to see this project.

Posted: 12:29 pm on February 8th
susanstars writes: thanks so much!

jokittens, that sounds like so much fun, I'd love to see photos of that fantastic meetup :)
Posted: 1:37 pm on April 2nd
jokittens writes: I'm going to suggest to my Houston ASG neighborhood group, Sewing Inside the Loop Group, that we have a button party for one of our monthly meetings.

We could have button cookies for treats, swap buttons, make quicky button crafts. I think it would be oodles of fun.
Posted: 12:10 pm on April 1st
RubyKitty writes: So colourful and really pretty. Bet they taste good too!
Posted: 7:31 am on March 29th
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